scarfe cartoon

How should we respond to the controversy over the Gerald Scarfe cartoon? Last Sunday – Holocaust Memorial Day – the Sunday Times published a cartoon by Scarfe, its regular cartoonist, depicting the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu building a wall with blood-red coloured cement, in which were trapped Palestinians.

The cartoon instantly created international outrage. The Board of Deputies of British Jews, which has complained to the Press Complaints Commission, denounced the cartoon as ‘shockingly reminiscent of the blood libel imagery more usually found in parts of the virulently anti-semitic Arab press’. It was ‘all the more disgusting’ for being published on Holocaust memorial day, ‘given the similar tropes levelled against Jews by the Nazis’. Israel’s ambassador to Britain, Daniel Taub, similarly condemned ‘The use of vicious motifs echoing those used to demonise Jews in the past’. The ‘crude and shallow hatred of this cartoon’ made it ‘totally unacceptable on any…

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